April 19, 2019

UAE energy minister says Russian Federation is committed to OPEC supply-cut agreement

11 April 2019, 01:13 | Joann Bryant

Crude Oil- Petroleum

Crude Oil- Petroleum

U.S. crude oil inventories increased during the week ending April 5, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) said in a report on Wednesday.

Worldwide benchmark Brent futures were at $70.62 per barrel at 0716 GMT on Monday, up 28 cents, or 0.4 per cent from their last close.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil futures were down 35 cents at $64.26 per barrel.

The United States and China have yet to find a solution to their dispute on trade, while the International Monetary Fund on Tuesday cut its global economic growth forecasts.

US sanctions on oil exporters Iran and Venezuela, as well as supply cuts by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and allies including Russian Federation, known as OPEC+, also boosted prices.

Brent crude futures, the global benchmark for oil prices, were up $1.04, or 1.5%, at $71.65 per barrel around 2:30 p.m., after hitting a five-month high.

"(Oil markets will remain tight) as long as Saudi Arabia continues to back the production cut deal as aggressively as it has done so far", said Ole Hansen, head of commodity strategy at Saxo Bank.

Last December, OPEC and other major oil producers, including Russian Federation, pledged to cut production by 1.2 million barrels per day in order to prop up prices, effective from this January.

It stated: "In fact, the latest shipping data from Reuters and revealed that Venezuela's March oil exports remained surprisingly stable on February despite the string of blackouts, at a daily rate of around 900,000 bpd".

"Declines from these two exempt countries account for nearly 47% of the reduction seen from OPEC", ING added.

OPEC said it has made some progress toward achieving this goal.OECD commercial oil inventories fell to 2.63 billion barrels in February and were only 7.5 million barrels above the five-year average, according to OPEC's report.

The figures could add to a debate within OPEC+ about whether to maintain oil supply cuts beyond June.

Speaking at a conference in Abu Dhabi, Mazroui also said the UAE can raise its crude oil production up to 3.5 million bpd if needed.

The bank said it expected Brent and WTI to average $70 per barrel and $59 per barrel respectively in 2019, and $65 per barrel and $60 per barrel in 2020.

USA crude stocks rose by 4.1 million barrels to 455.8 million barrels in the week to April 5, data from industry group the American Petroleum Institute showed on Tuesday.

OPEC+ returned to supply cuts in 2019 out of concern that slowing economic growth and demand would lead to a new supply glut.

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